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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - September 01, 2009

From: Glen Allen, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Shrubs for house landscaping in Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I would like suggestions for types of shrubs to be planted in front of my house.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants suggests that you visit the Recommended Species page on our webpage and select your state from the map or the pulldown menu.  This will give you a list of commercially available native plants suitable for landscapes in Virginia.  You can then use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to limit the results by choosing 'Shrub' from the GENERAL APPEARANCE option.  You can also add your choice for other criteria (e.g., under LIGHT REQUIREMENT and/or SOIL MOISTURE).  Since I don't know what the light and moisture parameters for your yard are, I will suggest a few shrubs with a variety of growing requirements.  You can check those against your site's conditions.  You can also see for yourself if there are other possibilities in the Recommended Species list. 

Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea) is a small (up to 3 ft.) with small white flowers in the spring.

Cornus alternifolia (alternateleaf dogwood) is described as a large shrub or tall tree (up to 35 ft.).  It has white flowers that make berries that attract birds.

Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) is a large evergreen shrub (12-20 ft.) with pink flowers in the spring.

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush) is a 6-12 ft.shrub with aromatic leaves.

Rhododendron calendulaceum (flame azalea) is 6-12 ft tall with showy orange flowers.

Robinia hispida (bristly locust) grows up to 8 feet tall with pinkish flowers in the spring.


Ceanothus americanus

Cornus alternifolia

Kalmia latifolia

Lindera benzoin

Rhododendron calendulaceum

Robinia hispida

 

 

 

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